Peugeot's new 408 sedan, revealed earlier this year in Beijing (and due for release there soon), has now also entered production in South America where it will go on sale later this year.
The 408 may also have a local debut on the horizon - but only if a case can be built for a right-hand-drive model, with no decision likely to be made without interest from other right-hook markets, such as Japan and the UK.
The Chinese and South American version of the 408, built on an extended 308 platform and developed by Peugeot and China's DFM, is expected to increase Peugeot's Chinese sales - 410,000 in 2009 - by 30 percent.
“Whilst the car has not been officially confirmed for right-hand drive production at this stage, we are quietly confident that it will be in Australia in the not-too-distant future,” General Manager of Peugeot Australia Ken Thomas said.
“The car has an extended wheelbase allowing for more interior space and the sedan shape obviously allows for more boot space.”
In China, the 408 will be powered by a version of the 1.6 litre engine developed by PSA Peugeot Citroen and BMW, along with a 2.0 litre petrol unit, producing 79kW and 110kW respectively.
DFM (or Dong Feng), expects to sell around 100,000 of the 408 in the burgeoning Chinese market in its first year of release.
One new Peugeot that stands a good chance of coming to Australia is the all-new 2011 508. This is Peugeot's replacement for both the 407 and the 'executive-sized' 607,and sized to be an 'in-between' model for the two that it replaces.
“At this stage we are unable to confirm pricing for Australia, however we remain confident that the new 508 will be highly competitive and represent a compelling proposition for the discerning luxury car buyer,” Ken Thomas said.
“It will deliver a suite of advanced technologies, powerful and efficient Euro 5-compliant HDi diesel engines, high standards of safety and an unprecedented level of standard equipment. Peugeot has a proud tradition of excellence in this segment and the new 508 will not disappoint."
The 508 marks the return of Peugeot’s “five-0″ designated models, last seen on the 505 from 1979 to around 1992. The 505 won a steady following at the time, and Peugeot is no doubt hoping history will repeat itself with the 508.